Do Squirrels Eat Pumpkins?

Have you ever looked out of your window to watch the squirrels gather food for the winter? Have you ever wondered what they like to eat? Squirrels aren't picky and will eat almost anything. We know they like to eat acorns, pecans, berries, apples, vegetables from the garden, and seeds just to name a few. Sometimes squirrels will eat food meant for other animals such as birdseed, cat food, and even dog food. But... do squirrels like to eat pumpkins? Check out this science and STEM experiment we conducted to try and answer this question.

What do squirrels like to eat? Do they like to eat pumpkins? This science and STEM experiment helps children discover the answer to these questions.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Our Scientific Process and Procedure

This science experiment was inspired by a meme that has been floating around on several social media platforms. The meme shows a carved pumpkin that was nibbled on by some squirrels. We wanted to see what would happen if we left a carved pumpkin outside for the squirrels to eat.

Pumpkin Eaten by a Squirrel
This is the meme that inspired our science experiment. Not all memes on the internet are legitimate... many are photoshopped to look real. We wanted to know if this one was real or not.


Do squirrels like to eat pumpkins?


We predict that some squirrels will eat our pumpkin.

A freshly carved pumpkin sitting on some birdseed.
We put our pumpkin outside and set it on some birdseed to attract the squirrels.

Materials Needed

  • small pumpkin
  • camera


  1. Carve the small pumpkin. Leave the seeds and pulp inside.
  2. Put the pumpkin outside in an area where squirrels like to search for food.
  3. Check the pumpkin once a day or every couple of days.
  4. Use the camera to record the changes in the pumpkin.

Five squirrels eating our pumpkin.
Within a couple of days, five squirrels showed up to eat the pumpkin and birdseed. They were hungry. Sometimes they would chase each other away from the pumpkin so they could have it for themselves!


The squirrels ate the seeds, pulp, and flesh from the pumpkin. They didn't eat the stem. They only ate parts of the rind. The squirrels really liked the seeds and ate them first. After they ate all of the seeds, they ate the pumpkin's pulp and flesh.


Squirrels do like pumpkins and the meme we looked at is probably legitimate.

The remains of the pumpkin after the squirrels ate it.
After a week or so, not much remained of the pumpkin. The squirrels ate the seeds (also known as pepitas), pulp, and flesh but only some of the rind. They didn't eat the stem at all.

Leftover pumpkin seed shells and chewed rinds litter the grass.
We had an interesting discovery! The squirrels peeled the pumpkin seeds while they were eating. They left the seed shells on the ground and made a big mess. Fortunately, these seed shells will disintegrate during the winter and will provide nutrients for the soil.

Did you enjoy this STEM experiment? If so, check out these other STEM experiments you may enjoy:

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